Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the situation in the city of Bakhmut, on the eastern front, had become “more difficult”.
Russian forces have been trying to take control of the city for more than six months.
“The enemy is constantly destroying everything that can be used to protect our positions,” Mr. Zelensky stated.
The Ukrainian leader’s comments came as US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned China against arming Russia during a visit to Kiev on Monday.
Some of the fiercest fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine just over a year ago took place in Pakhmut in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, part of which is controlled by Russia and its separatist allies.
Recently, the efforts of the Russian forces to control the industrial city have intensified, with the expansion of their forces.
The separatist leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushlin, said that “practically all roads” to the city were “under control.” [Russian] fire control.”
The commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Col. Oleksandr Sersky, said the situation around Pakhmut was “extremely tense”.
“Despite the heavy losses, the enemy has thrown in the most prepared assault units of Wagner, who are trying to break through the defenses of our troops and surround the city,” said General Sirsky.
Speaking about the situation in his nightly speech, President Zelensky said that he managed to gain a foothold in Bakhmut and ensure that its defense was in great danger due to the renewed Russian offensive.
He was “grateful to everyone who heroically controls” the area.
President Zelensky again called for sending modern combat aircraft to defend “the entire territory of our country” from “Russian terrorism”.
On her surprise visit to Kiev on Monday, Janet Yellen announced the latest transfer of $1.25 billion (£1 billion) in economic aid and budget aid to Ukraine.
Ms. Yellen reiterated US President Joe Biden’s message – delivered during his visit to Kiev last week – that Washington will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes to win the war.
He speaks to CNNYellen added that although the Russian economy has not yet collapsed in light of the broad sanctions imposed by Western powers on Russia, she expects it to weaken over time.
It also stated that Russia’s ability to replenish military equipment destroyed in the attacks on Ukraine is “gradually endangered,” adding that any move by China to supply Russia with such weapons would lead to “serious” consequences.
“We have been very clear that we will not tolerate systematic violations by any country of our sanctions aimed at denying Russia access to the military hardware to wage this war,” she said.
“And we’ve been very clear with the Chinese government and made clear to Chinese companies and financial institutions that the consequences for violating those sanctions will be very severe.”
The meeting between China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week seemed to many to be an indication of China’s close ties with Russia.
Putin’s staunch ally, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, is due to start a three-day tour of China on Tuesday. During the visit, he is expected to meet President Xi Jinping.
You may also be interested in:
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”